The marine otter is a charismatic marine mammal that lives along the Pacific coast of South America. They are native to the northern coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, from northern Japan to Baja, Mexico. This species suffers many threats from different sources. They only reach about 13 pounds (6 kg) vs. 100 pounds (45 kg) in sea otters. Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean and are found in Russia, Alaska, Washington state and California. Sea otters are found in two areas: The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. The geographic range is also constricted compared to pre-hunting times, and it may still disappear from some places, as poaching continues to be a problem. Activity is usually diurnal, with peaks of activity occurring during early mornings, mid-afternoon, and evenings. Order Carnivora (carnivorans), Family Mustelidae (weasels and relatives). Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an easily recognized and beloved marine mammal. It is mostly solitary, and … We have already protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea life - but there is still more to be done. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, marine otters rely on their extremely thick fur. This otter is found in coastal areas and on larger inland rivers … Some are almost exclusively aquatic, like the sea otters that live in the Pacific ocean, and some spend more than half their time on land, like the giant otter that lives in the tropical rain-forests of South America. Excessive hunting reduced the numbers of marine otters significantly and now the species is endangered (highly vulnerable to extinction). Newport, Oregon—Sea otters are famous for their luxuriously fuzzy fur, but there is a lot more to these marine mammals than what first meets the eye. In the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otter pelts were highly valued for their use in making coats and other outerwear, and the s… Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. Sailors for the Sea developed the KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) program to create the next generation of ocean stewards. Adults carry their young in their mouths or rest them on their bellies while swimming on their backs. Continuing population decline across the range has been the result. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family and the smallest marine mammal. River otters are found throughout most of North America from the Rio Grande to Canada and Alaska, except for in arid deserts and the treeless Arctic. Most interactions between these animals are friendly, however, when adults and pairs fight over resources, like captured prey, they may show intense aggression. A great way to get involved in protecting #oceans: Join Oceana as a Wavemaker & sound off on important issues! This aquatic member of the weasel family is found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. Still, currently, they are habitat along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia, they are yet found in Russia. Australia and Antarctica are the only continents in the world where there are no otters. Unfortunately, their fur also nearly led to this species demise. Chilean sea otter, Patagonian otter, Sea cat, South American sea otter, Otter cat, Gato Marino. Th… The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. They eat animals with shells, like clams and abalone, and use a stone to break open the shells. Sign up today to get weekly updates and action alerts from Oceana. More recently, this mammal has suffered habitat loss due to a growing tourism industry, which has meant coastal construction and water sports activities. 1; The maximum estimated lifespan of sea otters is 23 years in the wild. North American river otter (or common otter): Found in and along North America’s waterways and coasts, these otters weigh between 11 and 31 lbs (5-14kg). Groups are rarely more than two or three in number. The sea otters usually live near the shore waters of the North Pacific, from Japan, north to the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, then from Alaska down along the Pacific coast of North America to Baja, California. River otters can tolerate a variety of environments, including … Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. River otters, despite their names, can live in a variety of habitats including streams, rivers, lakes, and freshwater and saltwater marshes. Genus Hydrictis (speckle-throated otter) 1 species found in sub-Saharan Africa. In the past there have been many problems including hunting for fur and pollution. Let’s take a look at the Eurasian … Unfortunately, their fur also nearly led to this species’ demise. Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. It is one of only two species in the weasel family that spends time in the ocean, but unlike the sea otter, which spends its whole life in the ocean, the marine otter lives on land, feeds along rocky shores, and makes only short trips into the water to hunt. Their appetite for these invertebrate species exerts a strong influence on prey size and number and how they live and move in their habitat. News Release – September 16, 2015. Age at sexual maturity is 3-4 years in females and is probably 7-8 years in males. Otters are found on all continents except Antarctica and Australasia. For Immediate Release. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. Sea otters inhabit shallow coastal waters off the eastern North Pacific. Click here or below to download hands-on marine science activities for kids. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, sea otters rely on their extremely thick fur the thickest of all animals. Northern sea otters are found along the coast of Alaska and Washington, and Russian otters are found in the Pacific Ocean off Russia and Japan. Can otters use tools? Otters are found almost all over the world and in many wet habitats, such freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans, coastlines and marshes. Both adults bring prey to the den for their young to eat. Otters have the thicket fur of any animal, ranging from 250,000 up to a million hairs in each square inch. Such competitions often involve fighting, biting, and high-pitched squeaks, resulting in bleeding wounds. According to the IUCN Red List, the total Marine otter population size is around 800 to 2,000 individuals. Marine otters are found in littoral areas of southwestern South America, close to shore and in the intertidal areas of northern Peru (from the port of Chimbote), along the entire coast of Chile, and the extreme southern reaches of Argentina. Marine otters are foraging predators that eat a wide variety of prey. Hairy-nosed otter, Lutra sumatrana. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, marine otters rely on their extremely thick fur. The young stay with their parents for about ten months. They are marine mammals, existing almost exclusively in … Rarely found in freshwater, this species prefers exposed coastal areas, and tolerates rough conditions and enjoys regions which offer a variety of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. The Marine otter lives along the Pacific Ocean’s coast, from northern Peru to the Isla de Los Estados, Argentina and Cape Horn, Chile. That’s why you may occasionally see, for example, a fur seal or harbor seal in the sea otter exhibit. Adult marine otters are quite small. The gestation period is 60 to 65 days, and births are usually from January to March. The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. River otters as a whole look quite similar to weasels. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. They live in riparian zones, often in the same areas as beavers. It is one of just two species of the family of weasels that spends its time in the ocean, though unlike the sea otter, it does not spend its entire life in the ocean, but lives on land, feeding along the rocky shores, only making short trips into the sea to hunt. Without continuing conservation measures and legal protection, this charismatic species could be at risk of being lost forever. They have, however, proved to be wonderful rock climbers. They also scavenge for garbage, bringing them into close contact with people. Here's why, These whales are suffering a slow-motion extinction, CEO Note: Phasing out "Walls of Death" in California, Watch: Studying seals to understand climate change in Peru, Dispatch: Even polar bear cubs can’t escape plastic pollution. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. 1; Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal. Water pollution from oil spills and mining of heavy metals, over-fishing of its prey species, drowning in fishing nets and crab traps, and persecution by fishermen, are further threats. Earlier sea otters ranged from Mexico to Alaska. Many sea otters live near rocky sea bottoms and shorelines, where marine communities are extremely diverse. Marine otters are most likely monogamous, which means that one male mates with one female exclusively. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. Sea Otter Savvy In spring of 2014, at the Southern Sea Otter Research Update Meeting in Santa Cruz, some of the most influential sea otter agency and organization representatives convened a special working group to address the increasing frequency of disturbance to sea otters by human marine recreation activities. They can also be seen at zoos, including the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, above. Litters have two to four young, usually two. The name for a group of these animals is a 'romp,’ ‘bevy,’ ‘family,’ ‘lodge,’ or ‘raft'. Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. Genus Enhydra (sea otter) Marine otters are carnivores, they mainly eat fish, crabs, shrimps and mollusks. Mating, birth, and nursing take place onshore, in protected dens. Occasional vagrant sightings still occur as far afield as the Falkland Islands. We are restoring the world’s wild fish populations to serve as a sustainable source of protein for people. http://ow.ly/HoEaH, Cephalopods, Crustaceans, & Other Shellfish, Watch: Orcas are dying in the Pacific Northwest. Excessive hunting reduced the numbers of marine otters significantly and now the species is endangered (highly vulnerable to extinction). Marine otters usually live solitary lives, but monogamous pairs have been observed. 3. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. This charismatic marine species displays charm and dexterity. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. All otters have webbed feet to help propel them through the water, and most species have sharp claws. It lives along South America’s Pacific coast. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. Otters prefer to live in marshes and along wooded rivers and streams with pools and overhanging rocky banks. Mating typically takes place during December or January. There are 13 species of otter in the world and they are all in the Red List of Threatened Species. These furry marine mammals are one of only a few marine animals known to use tools to obtain their food. For more information on these species click hereAll are declining in number except the North American river otter which is regarded as stable. Oceana joined forces with Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization dedicated to educating and engaging the world’s boating community. Rarely found in freshwater, this species prefers exposed coastal areas, and tolerates rough conditions and enjoys regions which offer a … When not breeding, these otters mostly live a solitary life. Sign our petition to tell GrubHub to take shark fin off the menu now – before the ocean’s most iconic predators disappear. Otter Cams At the Seattle Aquarium, our marine mammals have been trained to move from one exhibit to another as needed to support animal management and so we may safely clean our exhibits. Unlike many species of weasels, scientists believe the marine otter to be monogamous. This species is much more agile in water than on land. It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts. These otters often leave the water to go onto the rocky shore where they can feed, sun themselves, groom, and play. They also will … It has been hunted for its pelt over many centuries, used mainly for footwear. Sea otters inherit in the shallow coastal areas and prefer the places with kelp. Unfortunately, this thick fur also nearly led to this species demise. When hunting for prey, Marine otters will dive as deep as 30 to 40 m. A baby marine otter is a 'pup’ or ‘whelp'. Did you just call me a sea otter? When otters dive, they are able to seal their nose and ears. 1; Sea otters are one of the few animals to use tools. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Most otters live in dens — built by other animals, such as beavers — that are dug into the ground that have many channels and dry inner chambers. Southern sea otters can be found along California's central coast, from San Mateo County in the north to near Santa Barbara in the south. While they prefer invertebrates, including crabs, clams, and other hard-shelled groups, they are also known to eat some fishes, juvenile birds, and even other mammals. Currently this species is classified as Endangered (EN) and its numbers today are decreasing. Marine Otter on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_otter, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12303/0. It is unique among the mustelids in not making dens or burrows, in having no functional anal scent glands, and in being able to live its entire life without leaving the water. This small (3–6 kg [6.6–13.2 pounds]) otter occurs on the Pacific coast from Peru through Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. 4 In this position they can ingest prey even in high waves. The kelp helps the sea otters to wrap themselves in when they are resting. They have furry bodies, whiskered faces, and a propensity to lay on their backs and float on the water, a behavior that humans perceive as evidence of fun-loving. Sea otters are carnivores that feed on an array of marine species—mostly invertebrates like crabs, clams, urchins, snails and worms. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. The Marine otter is the smallest of the otters of the New World otters. Birthing takes place either in a den or on the shore between vegetation and rocky outcroppings. 2 species found in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia. The word ‘otter’ is from Indo European and Old English root words that are also the basis of the English word ‘water’. Breeding occurs from December to January, with 2-4 kits born after a two month gestation. Although both these animals live in a marine environment, marine otters are related more closely to the three American river otter species than the sea otter, which indicates that within the weasel family, the coastal/marine lifestyle has evolved twice. Sea Otter Awareness Week aims to showcase just that, and inspire people around the world to help these threatened animals. Otters have some interesting relatives. The Marine otter lives along the Pacific Ocean’s coast, from northern Peru to the Isla de Los Estados, Argentina and Cape Horn, Chile. Sea otters live in shallow coastal waters in the northern Pacific. 2. It is illegal to keep this indigenous otter as a pet in the United States, and not advised to take it out of North America. The young remain with their mother for about ten months. They can live in freshwater and coastal marine habitats, including rivers, lakes, marshes, swamps, and estuaries. The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae, a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. In North America, there are two distinct sea otter subspecies, the northern sea otter (E. l. kenyoni) and the southern sea otter (E. l. nereis).Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, South Central and Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. The geographic range is also constricted compared to pre-hunting times, and it may still disappear from some places, as poaching continues to b… Adult sea otters can eat 25%-30% of their body weight in one day. However, they can also be found on soft-bottom coastal areas. The only member of the genus Enhydra, the sea otter is so different from other mustelid species that, as recently … They tend to live where there are cooler waters, but have been known to live where there is warmer water and sandy land. They have long, narrow bodies, with long tails and short legs. Though they both live in the marine environment, marine otters are more closely related to the three species of American river otters than to the sea otter, indicating that the coastal/marine lifestyle evolved twice in the weasel family. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Often these animals float on their back, staying in position with their tail. A Sea Otter's Diet North American river otters are playful furballs that live near ponds, streams, lakes and rivers. It's really common to watch someone point at a river otter and say, … Small prey is eaten in the water, while larger prey is brought ashore. They spend almost their entire life in water and rarely do they come ashore to rest. They are most commonly found in coral reefs and rocky coastlines. In fact, sea otters have so many hairs per square inch that their skin never actually gets wet, even though they live their entire lives in the ocean. Though the marine otter has complete or partial legal protection throughout its range, it continues to show decreasing populations. They typically use … However, even this is questionable as tens of thousands are killed LEGALLY each year by trapping. Resulting in bleeding wounds in one day some interesting relatives marine animals known to use tools obtain. 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